“Awards are so unnecessary, because I think we get so much out of our work just by doing it. The work is reward itself.”
Yeah….well, OK Natalie Portman....that's very humble of you....but not for me :-) Because I was just nominated by a fellow blogger for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award - and couldn't be more honored!!!
I’m new to blogging, like brand new. At the start of 2015, I left a job I really loved in destination marketing to pursue something I loved even more - traveling and photography, and combining them both in an inspiring travel blog. Taking a leap of faith is a tough thing to do, but the great thing about no longer being twenty-something, or thirty-something, is the confidence you've gained in yourself that everything will be OK. You know your strengths, your shortcomings, and that you have what it takes in case the bottom falls out. Fast forward 8 months into said leap of faith, and I’m starting to make sense of what I’m doing, learning every day, and taking note of some really great blogs out there, of all kinds.
I’m floored by the amazing writing, photography, and creative talent I see, and even more encouraged by the women - of all ages - doing what they love and inspiring others to do the same. Not just travel blogs, but lifestyle, fashion, and food blogs - and the Moms out there running successful blogs with young kids in tow are truly inspiring.
One of my favorite blogs that kept coming to the forefront of the huge number of them out there was TravelwithG, a travel, photography & food blog, curated by the talented G. Maria. She was traveling to the kinds of places I love to go, doing the kinds of things I love to do, and eating (and cooking) the kinds of foods that inspire me to travel, even if it’s just to the store to buy the ingredients to make what she’s made! She’s an adventurer, a former attorney and also a Peruvian chef, so you can imagine the interesting stuff she writes about in her blog.
So, imagine my surprise when I got an email from her that she was nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! Yay!! How cool is that?? Wait…what? I had seen this award announced by other recipients a few times but didn’t really know what it was about. She can’t nominate me, I don’t even know what this is about! Doesn’t she know I don’t know what I’m doing?
But here’s what I found out:
“The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award recognizes the unique voices of women bloggers around the world.”
Simple. Lovely. And so supportive of other women, which I love!
So, TravelwithG - thanks so much for seeing something in my blog that you enjoyed, and nominating me for this honor! Be sure and check out G’s work on her blog and social media - Facebook.com/TravelwithG; Instagram: @travelwithg; Twitter: @TravelwithG
The Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award Rules
- Thank the blogger who nominated you for this award in a blog post and link back to her
- Give answers to the 10 questions your nominator has asked
- Nominate 10 bloggers who have inspired you
- Ask your own 10 questions of your nominees and tell them of their nomination for the award
TravelwithG’s questions & my responses
1. Your first trip away from home was… where?
I was fortunate to have parents who took us on yearly vacations when we were kids, usually to Florida or the Jersey shore. But my first real travel experience alone was at 15, when I went on a summer exchange program to Canada through my uncle’s Lions Club. That was a great experience and a good introduction to a (subtly) new culture, living with a host family, traveling with others my age, and learning to be a flexible traveler.
2. All my nominees are travelers… So I know you must have experienced down time – that is, dead time waiting for the next plane/bus/train/ferry/donkey? How do you entertain yourself while waiting to get to your next destination? (Other than sleeping)
Good question! I can so relate to this and always have to have a new destination to look forward to! I get antsy if I have to wait too long, but I’ll fill the time with editing/organizing photos, reading up on my next destination, and trying to learn, or at least familiarize myself with, the language. I love to research about local foods and great places to eat ahead of time!
3. Do you take spontaneous trips or are you more of a planner?
Both. I’ve never planned an entire trip or been completely spontaneous - I think doing either would suck the fun out of any trip for me. I plan where to stay at the beginning and end of a trip, and make concrete plans or reservations for any hikes, tours, or places I absolutely have to see. Other than that, I love letting fate step in, and talking to other travelers while we're on the road who are always willing to help with current info like upcoming holidays or other great things to see.
4. Have you ever met someone while traveling with whom you still keep in touch with today?
Yes, definitely - I’ve met some great people on the road - some who were expats, some were just passing through, and many locals who have been there for years and seen many changes. I keep in touch with several through social media. It’s amazing the kind of relationships you can develop out of your common love of traveling, and the amazing people you meet - even if it's for just a brief moment!
5. Do you have a packing routine? What are some of the things you must have while traveling away from home?
Even thinking about packing makes me uptight, so I have a routine to help keep me from feeling like I’m forgetting something. I pull out things weeks before and set them aside in a pile, then two nights ahead of leaving I pack them in a suitcase, paring things down as I go. I figure the only things you really need are your tickets, passport, (and spare contact lenses), right?! Anything else you can get on the road, or may not really need at all. And I always pack extra foldable bags or satchels to carry the items I know I'll eventually bring home - like the blankets, textiles, and natural things I love to collect!
6. Have you ever gone to a place that was “highly recommended” and you thought, “Why am I even here?” ~ Where was this? Why did you not like it?
Hmm, probably Las Vegas. I do try to make the best of a bad situation if I find myself in one - I mean, any time you're traveling, how bad could it be, right? But I remember feeling like everything was an assault to my senses, though I did only stay in the city itself. I’m not really the kind of traveler who might enjoy the essence of Vegas (I’m trying to be diplomatic here :-) ). Just about everything felt overdone and contrived to me. But I did love the amazing Chihuly chandelier and the musical fountain at the Bellagio hotel! Next time I find myself near Vegas, I'll get outside the city and explore the desert and Lake Powell.
7. We all know that traveling can take you out of your comfort zone. Can you tell us about an experience where you overcame a fear/anxiety/discomfort?
One of my most vivid travel experiences was hiking Huayna Picchu, the tall mountain you see in all the iconic photographs of Machu Picchu. The hike is limited to just 400 hikers a day, and requires that you sign in with passport and contact information in case something bad happens - which tells you a little about the type of hike it is, even for experienced hikers! The day of our hike turned rainy as we approached the top of the mountain, so I was definitely out of my comfort zone coming down.
The ancient stone steps were uneven and slick in the rain, there were few handrails so you're forced to hug the mountain wall and inch along steps and trails that are less than 2-3 feet wide in some places. And after climbing 1,000 feet up the mountain, my legs were like rubber, all shaky and wobbly! I just kept reminding myself I could take all the time in the world to get back down. The other hikers were great about helping each other stay safe. Long story short - I'd definitely recommend the hike, but think twice or take extra precautions with good footwear if it rains!
8. Are there any books – even movies – that have influenced you to travel to a specific place?
Absolutely! But I think I'm more influenced by imagery, like in my National Geographic mags as a kid. I once kept an Architectural Digest magazine for years because of an article on some place called Todos Santos, Mexico. The photography so inspired me and I went because of that article - and it was even better in person. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" has really made me want to go to Udaipur, India. And there's a great surfing documentary called Step Into Liquid that'll make you want to live in Costa Rica - it still makes me want to learn to surf!
9. Do you prefer to travel solo or with someone else?
There are some places that I love to explore on my own, especially as a photographer - I can easily turn a 15-minute stop into a two-hour excursion - and I hate feeling guilty if that affects the way others with me like to travel. That said though, I can’t imagine not sharing the amazing travel experiences I’ve had with my husband and travel partner of over 25 years - for me, part of the joy of traveling is getting to share it with him!
10. Right now – what are your 5 top places (or experiences) you want to see/do?
India. Morocco. Vietnam. The Maldives. New Zealand. Thailand. France. All of Italy. Croatia. Chile. Argentina.....
Did you say 5? :-)
And now, for MY Nominees!
I’m nominating women whose blogs and social media have inspired, entertained, and educated me. I hope to eventually meet up with them at an event or conference - even better, out there on the road! Their blogs are all unique and I hope you’ll check them out and follow along with them!
Elena - LiveDoGrow.com
Rikka - DeviatingtheNorm.com
Michelle - chellexplore.com
Esther - LocalAdventurer.com
Mynn Lee - SheWalkstheWorld.com
Sadaaf - wachusett-vernon.com
Maria - TheTropicalDog.com
Danielle - ToItalywithLove.com
My questions for the Nominees
1. What did you do before you started your blog (and what inspired you to start it)?
2. Who's your dream seat-mate on a long flight?
3. Where is your favorite place in the world you've been, and what’s so special about it?
4. Who's your (rock 'n roll, literary, celebrity, etc.) idol, and what's your intro line when you finally meet them? I know you have one! :-)
5. What do you enjoy most in other people’s blogs or social media feeds (and what advice would you offer on how to make a blog more successful)?
6. Any favorite travel or inspirational quotes?
7. Tell us about the most incredible meal you've ever had. Where was it, what did you have, who were you with, and what made it so memorable?
8. What’s your most treasured souvenir you’ve ever brought back from your travels?
9. Who will play you in the movie about your life?
10. What’s next? Tell us your Top 3 experiences or travels in the works or on your Bucket List, and what you hope to see/do when you’re there!
Thanks for following this rather looooong post to the end.....I hope you enjoyed it!
Check out these ladies' blogs to get inspired to
TRAVEL, BE WELL, GIVE BACK, CREATE, and LOOK FABULOUS
all at the same time!